Tag Archives: Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani rights lawyer arrested on charge of defamation

30/01/22

Ilham Aslanoglu (Takhmazov). Screenshot of the video published on the simasiz tv YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX1iPd0wyQo

Lawyer Ilham Aslanoglu (Takhmazov) is arrested for five months on the charge of defamation. Activists believe that he is being persecuted for exposing crimes committed by militaries against colleagues within the “Terter case”.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that in the spring of 2017, a group of militaries and civilians was arrested in Baku on the charge of collaborating with the Armenian special services and plotting acts of sabotage. According to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), more than 200 soldiers fell victim to torture in the “Terter case”, and eleven of them died.

The human rights Union “For Freedom of Political Prisoners of Azerbaijan” recognized 25 persons convicted in the “Terter case” as victims of persecution for political reasons.

According to Arastun Orudjlu, the head of the East-West Research Centre, Ilham Aslanoglu made public the facts of torture against the militaries involved in the investigation of the “Terter case”.

“Instead of the arrests of the persons guilty of using torture, the one who exposed those crimes was thrown into prison,” Arastun Orudjlu said.

“Serious crimes were committed in the ‘Terter case’. To hide their mistakes, the military top-ranking officials tried to attribute them to the betrayal of the officers, who were severely tortured,” said Namizad Safarov, a coordinator of the Committee against Torture and Repressions.


[…]

https://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/58071/
© Кавказский Узел

Azerbaijan: Denial of the commutation of sentence for Elchin Mammad

16/12/21

[…]

The Observatory has been informed about the denial of the commutation of sentence for Mr. Elchin Mammad, human rights lawyer, who has been arbitrarily detained on false charges for over a year at the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal. Elchin Mammad is the President of the Social Union of Legal Education of Sumgait Youth (SULESY), an NGO providing free legal assistance to low-income families and non-profits, as well as the Editor-in-chief of the newspaper Yukselish Namine, which publishes articles on human rights concerns in Azerbaijan.

On December 9, 2021, the Court of Appeal of Baku rejected the appeal filed by Elchin Mammad challenging the October 9, 2021 decision of the Surakhani District Court to deny Mr. Mammad the replacement of his remaining prison term with either a suspended prison sentence or non-custodial alternatives. On November 24, 2021, Elchin Mammad was transferred from prison No. 14 of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice to pre-trial detention centre No. 1 in Kurdakhani, where he remained detained at the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal. The reasons for this transfer remain unknown. Elchin Mammad’s health has drastically deteriorated during his detention due to the lack of adequate medical care. Moreover, after his transfer to pre-trial detention centre No.1 in Kurdakhani, Elchin Mammad had no access to a bed for some days due to severe overcrowding in the facilities.

The Observatory recalls that on March 30, 2020, the police arrested Elchin Mammad at his home in the city of Sumgait, a few days after he had published online a critical report on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. The police claimed to have found stolen jewellery worth 7,500 manats (around 4,070 Euros) and ammunition at his office. The Sumgait City Court remanded Mr. Mammad in custody on charges of “theft causing significant damage” and “illegal purchase and possession of firearm accessories”. On October 14, 2020, the Sumgait City Court sentenced Mr. Mammad to four years in prison.

The Observatory further recalls that the circumstances in which the verdict was handed down suggest that Elchin Mammad did not benefit from a fair trial. The evidence heard at the trial was inconsistent and should not have led to Mr. Mammad’s conviction, while the investigation phase also appeared to have been marred by police tampering of evidence. Yet, on February 19, 2021, the Sumgayit Court of Appeal upheld the four-year prison sentence of Elchin Mammad and concluded that his right to a fair trial was respected during the judicial proceedings in his case. Moreover, on July 7, 2021, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan upheld Elchin Mammad’s prison sentence. His lawyers announced they will submit his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

On June 12, 2021, Elchin Mammad was transferred to the Main Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice (Central Penitentiary hospital), following an order from the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan. Six days before his transfer to the penitentiary hospital, Elchin Mammad fainted. Moreover, he has lost a significant amount of weight while in detention, has trouble walking and swollen legs. Being ill with Hepatitis C, his health condition is particularly concerning and puts him at high risk of contracting COVID-19 in view of the overcrowding and poor prison conditions in Azerbaijan.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the ongoing arbitrary detention and the deteriorating health of Elchin Mammad and urges the Azerbaijani authorities to grant him access to adequate and comprehensive medical treatment, and to immediately and unconditionally release him, as his detention is arbitrary and is only putting his life at risk.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/azerbaijan-denial-of-the-commutation-of-sentence-for-elchin-mammad

http://www.omct.org/en/resources/urgent-interventions/azerbaijan-deteriorating-health-conditions-of-elchin-mammad

European Court of Human Rights: CASE OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS RESOURCE CENTRE AND MUSTAFAYEV v. AZERBAIJAN

14/10/21

[…]

INTRODUCTION

1.  The present two applications concern the restrictions imposed on the bank accounts of the applicants and on the freedom of movement of the applicant by the domestic authorities. The applicants raise various complaints under Articles 6, 11, 13, 18 and 34 of the Convention, Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention and Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the Convention.

THE FACTS

2.  The applicants’ details and the names of their representatives are listed in the Appendix.

3.  The Government were represented by their Agent, Mr Ç. Əsgərov.

  1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

4.  The applicant is a lawyer and a member of the Azerbaijani Bar Association. He specialised in protection of human rights and has represented applicants in a large number of cases before the Court.

5.  He is also the founder and chairman of the applicant association, a non-governmental organisation specialising in legal education and protection of human rights. The applicant association was registered by the Ministry of Justice on 30 June 2006 and acquired the status of a legal entity.

6.  On 22 April 2014 the Prosecutor General’s Office opened criminal case no. 142006023 under Articles 308.1 (abuse of power) and 313 (forgery by an official) of the Criminal Code in connection with alleged irregularities in the financial activities of a number of non-governmental organisations. The decision did not provide an exhaustive list of the non-governmental organisations against which criminal proceedings were instituted but referred to the activities of some non-governmental organisations, without citing the name of the applicants.

7.  Soon thereafter the bank accounts of numerous non-governmental organisations and civil society activists were frozen by the domestic authorities within the framework of criminal case no. 142006023. The domestic proceedings concerning the freezing of those bank accounts are the subject of the present two and other applications pending before the Court (see, for example the communicated cases, Imranova and Others v. Azerbaijan, nos. 59462/14 and 4 others; Economic Research Centre and Others v. Azerbaijan, nos. 74254/14 and 5 others; and Abdullayev and Others v. Azerbaijan, nos. 74363/14 and 7 others).

8.  Various human rights defenders and civil society activists were also arrested within the framework of the same criminal proceedings in connection with their activities within or with various non-governmental organisations. The domestic proceedings concerning the arrest and pre-trial detention of some of those human rights defenders and civil society activists have already been examined by the Court (see, for example, Rasul Jafarov v. Azerbaijan, no. 69981/14, 17 March 2016; Mammadli v. Azerbaijan, no. 47145/14, 19 April 2018; Aliyev v. Azerbaijan, nos. 68762/14 and 71200/14, 20 September 2018; and Yunusova and Yunusov v. Azerbaijan (no. 2), no. 68817/14, 16 July 2020).

9.  In July 2014 the applicant was invited to the Prosecutor General’s Office where he was questioned about the applicant association’s activities. Between July 2014 and 2016 he was again questioned, on several occasions, by the prosecuting authorities about the same activities.

  1. IMPOSITION OF THE RESTRICTIONS ON THE APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS
    1. In respect of the applicant association’s bank accounts

10.  Following a request submitted by the Prosecutor General’s Office, on 19 May 2014 the Nasimi District Court, relying on Article 248 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (“the CCrP”), issued an attachment order in respect of all bank accounts of the applicant association hosted in the International Bank of Azerbaijan, pending the investigation (cinayət təqibinin davam etdiyi müddət ərzində), in criminal case no. 142006023. The order referred to the prosecuting authorities’ request according to which there was evidence that the amount of 11,993 US dollars, received on 14 May 2014 by the applicant association from the United States of America’s National Endowment for Democracy, constituted the object of a criminal offence and was used “as its instrument”. According to the order, it was amenable to appeal within three days after its announcement. It appears from the transcripts of the Nasimi District Court’s hearing of 19 May 2014 that it was not public and was held in the absence of the applicant association’s representative. The case file does not contain any document indicating that the applicant association was provided with a copy of the order.

11.  According to the applicant association, on an unspecified date in July 2014 its chairman, the applicant, went to the local branch of the International Bank of Azerbaijan where he was informed by a bank official of the attachment order.

12.  On 14 July 2014 the applicant association asked the Nasimi District Court for a copy of the attachment order and received it on the same day.

13.  On 16 July 2014 the applicant association appealed against the Nasimi District Court’s order of 19 May 2014, claiming a breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention. It submitted that an attachment order could not be taken in respect of its bank accounts within the meaning of Article 248 of the CCrP since neither the applicant association nor its members were accused in any criminal proceedings. It also noted that an attachment order could be taken within the meaning of Article 248.1 of the CCrP only for the purposes of ensuring the payment of a civil claim or the confiscation of property when provided for by criminal law. However, criminal case no. 142006023 was instituted under Articles 308.1 and 313 of the Criminal Code which did not provide for confiscation of property as a sanction. Lastly, it pointed out that the attachment order was disproportionate since, even assuming that there were doubts about the origin of the money received from the United States of America’s National Endowment for Democracy, the attachment order should have concerned only the impugned amount, and not all the bank accounts of the applicant association. Together with its appeal, the applicant association also lodged a request for restoration of the time-limit for lodging an appeal. In support of its restoration request, it submitted that it had never been informed of the Nasimi District Court’s hearing of 19 May 2014 and had obtained a copy of the impugned order only on 14 July 2014.

14.  On 18 July 2014 the Nasimi District Court dismissed the applicant association’s request for restoration of the time-limit for lodging an appeal. The court found that the applicant association had failed to submit any evidence showing that there was a valid reason for missing the three-day time-limit for lodging an appeal. The decision did not address the applicant association’s arguments concerning the court’s failure to inform it of its hearing of 19 May 2014 or to provide it with a copy of the impugned order of its own initiative.

15.  On 21 July 2014 the applicant association appealed against that decision, reiterating its previous arguments.

16.  On 24 July 2014 the Baku Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, without examining the applicant association’s arguments in respect of the restoration of the time-limit for lodging an appeal.

[…]

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

  1. Decides to join the applications;
  2. Declares the applications admissible;
  3. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention in respect of both applicants;
  4. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 13 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention in respect of both applicants;
  5. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the Convention on account of the travel ban imposed on the applicant by the prosecuting authorities;
  6. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the Convention on account of the travel ban imposed on the applicant by the domestic courts;
  7. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 18 of the Convention taken in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention in respect of both applicants and in conjunction with Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 to the Convention in respect of the applicant;
  8. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement:

(i) EUR 8,000 (eight thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, to the applicant association in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage;

(ii) EUR 15,000 (fifteen thousand euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable, to the applicant in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage;

(iii) EUR 1,900 (one thousand and nine hundred euros), plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants, in respect of costs and expenses, to be paid directly into the bank account of their representative, Mr R. Mustafazade;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;

  1. Dismisses the remainder of the applicants’ claim for just satisfaction.

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#%22documentcollectionid2%22:%5B%22GRANDCHAMBER%22,%22CHAMBER%22%5D,%22itemid%22:%5B%22001-212139%22%5D

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2021/10/free/politics_news/en/8592.htm/001

https://larochesuryon.maville.com/actu/actudet_-l-azerbaidjan-condamne-par-la-cedh-pour-avoir-paralyse-le-travail-d-une-ong-_54135-4876008_actu.Htm (FRANCAIS)

https://www.ouest-france.fr/europe/azerbaidjan/l-azerbaidjan-condamne-par-la-cedh-pour-avoir-paralyse-le-travail-d-une-ong-e873f226-2cd4-11ec-9285-f388b2ea32b0

Azerbaijan: Submission to UN Human Rights Committee

18/08/21

Azerbaijan: Submission to UN Human Rights Committee

In the fall of 2021, the UN Human Rights Committee will review Azerbaijan’s compliance with its international human rights obligations, and more in particular the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Lawyers for Lawyers has taken the opportunity to file a submission on the list of issues prior to reporting to inform the Committee about the situation of lawyers in Azerbaijan.

The submission highlights four main issues: harassment and criminal prosecution of lawyers, disbarment and other disciplinary measures on improper grounds, access to a lawyer, and violations of freedom of expression of lawyers.

Lawyers for Lawyers has long been concerned about attempts to harass and disrupt the work of lawyers who work on cases that engage human rights or represent persons perceived to be critics of the Azerbaijani authorities and have been targeted solely because they are carrying out their professional activities.

We have reported on the cases of multiple lawyers who have faced administrative harassment on improper grounds. The use of disciplinary measures by the Azerbaijani Bar Association (ABA) to retaliate against lawyers for their human rights or professional activities has been a problem for years.

Furthermore, we are concerned about the low number of lawyers in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has among the lowest number of lawyers for every 100,000 in habitants compared to other European countries. This is due to a change in legislation in 2017, which excluded lawyers from representing individuals in criminal cases who were not a member of the ABA. Since 2018, the number of lawyers who are members of the ABA has increased, but still the number of lawyers in Azerbaijan is not sufficient to ensure everyone’s right of access to an independent lawyer of their own choice.

[…]

Statement on the Day of profession of lawyers of the Republic of Azerbaijan

30/07/21

Statement on the

On this day – 30 July 2021 – Azerbaijan celebrates the Day of profession of lawyers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a day during which lawyers are placed in the limelight. Lawyers for Lawyers uses this day to reflect on and assess the current situation for human rights lawyers in Azerbaijan.

Current situation in Azerbaijan

Lawyers for Lawyers has long been concerned about the attempts to harass and disrupt the work of lawyers in Azerbaijan. These lawyers often work on cases that engage human rights or represent persons perceived to be critics of the Azerbaijani authorities. As a result of these proceedings, the right of Azerbaijani lawyers to perform their professional activities without hindrance isoften disregarded. Moreover, the corresponding rights of their clients to a fair trial (for example, the right to prepare an adequate defense, the right to a counsel of one’s own choosing, and the right to lawyer-client confidentiality) are frequently disrespected.

Harassment and criminal prosecution of lawyers

The abovementioned concerns are laid down in our recent Universal Period Review (UPR) mid-term report. In the report we furthermore mention cases of harassment and criminal prosecution of lawyers.

One of the lawyers mentioned in the report is Intigam Aliyev, a human rights lawyer who has submitted a great number of applications revolving around the right to fair trial, free speech and election rigging to the European Court of Human Rights. Unfortunately, Ms. Aliyev has been subjected to harassment and criminal prosecution in the past and, more recently, has been sanctioned with a travel ban due to an alleged failure to pay a tax debt from 2011-2014.

Another example of criminal prosecution of lawyers in Azerbaijan is the case of Elchin Mammad, who was arrested on 30 March 2020. Only a few days earlier, Mr. Mammad published a critical report on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. On 15 October 2020, Mr. Mammad was sentenced to four years in prison under the charges of “theft causing significant damage” and “illegal purchase and possession of firearm accessories”. Consequently, Mr. Mammad is currently unable to carry out his work as a lawyer. It has been reported that Mr. Mammad was transferred to the Main Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice on 12 June 2021, after allegedly not having received adequate medical care while in detention.

[…]

Azerbaijan/Belarus: HRC47: Statement on Judges and Lawyers

28/06/21

Human Rights House Foundation has raised the situation for legal professionals in Azerbijan and Belarus during the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement was released on the sidelines of the Interactive Dialogue under Item 3, and in response to the Special Rapporteur on the independence of Judges & Lawyer’s report.

We agree with the Special Rapporteur that justice systems have been affected in a number of countries, including through threats or attacks against human rights lawyers.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, the Azerbaijani lawyer Fuad Aghayev, argued that Azerbaijan “employs several methods to pressure human rights lawyers… It has established political bias in the admission process to the Bar, and suspended or disbarred human rights lawyers”. These continue to be employed in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan has exploited the pandemic to increase pressure on human rights lawyers. It has used the pandemic to justify insufficient implementation of European Court of Human Rights judgements. In addition, human rights lawyers continue to be harassed and disbarred. In 2020, Azerbaijani Bar Association reprimanded human rights lawyer Javad Javadov for raising a legitimate concern about alleged ill-treatment of his client linked to Covid-19 measures.

In 2021 Shahla Humbatova, one of the handful offew independent human rights lawyers left in the country was disbarred and then reinstated after major international pressure.

A dozen of lawyers remain unlawfully disbarred in Azerbaijan, including human rights lawyers Alaif Hasanov and Khalid Baghirov. Moreover, just like prominent lawyers Intigam Aliyev and Annaghi Hajibeyli, several of the younger human rights lawyers are arbitrarily precluded from joining the Bar Association.

Belarus, in the midst of its own human rights crisis, has carried out numerous disbarments in recent months.

Liudmila Kazak is a prominent Belarusian lawyer with over 20 years defending human rights cases, including many cases involving human rights defenders. She was sentenced and fined for allegedly participating in peaceful protests in September 2020 and was subsequently disbarred in February this year. She is one of many such cases.

[…]

https://news.sky.com/story/meet-the-activists-keeping-the-spirit-of-resistance-alive-in-belarus-12342771

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2021/6/free/politics_news/en/5402.htm/001

https://www.euronews.com/2021/06/25/roman-protasevich-belarus-journalist-and-girlfriend-sofia-sapega-moved-from-jail-to-house-

https://www.fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/belarus/mobilising-for-justice-in-belarus-fidh-launches-website-tracking

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "" The Council and Special Rapporteur must understand that such disbarments in Azerbaijan and Belarus are unacceptable, constitute violations of both countries' internationa human rights obligations, and are even more concerning having been done during times of crisis. DAVEELSEROAD Head of Advocacy, Human Rights House Foudnation"

Azerbaijan: Deteriorating health and ongoing arbitrary detention of Elchin Mammad

16/06/21

Image

The Observatory has been informed about the deteriorating health conditions and ongoing arbitrary detention of Elchin Mammad, human rights lawyer, President of the Social Union of Legal Education of Sumgait Youth (SULESY), an NGO providing free legal assistance to low income families and non-profits, as well as the Editor-in-chief of the newspaper Yukselish Namine, which publishes articles on human rights concerns in the country.

On June 12, 2021, Elchin Mammad was transferred to the Main Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice (Central Penitentiary hospital), following an order from the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan. Elchin Mammad’s health condition has drastically deteriorated while detained in prison No. 14 of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice as a result of not receiving adequate medical care. Six days before his transfer to the penitentiary hospital, Elchin Mammad fainted. Moreover, he has lost a significant amount of weight while in detention, has trouble walking and swollen legs. Being ill with Hepatitis C, his health condition is particularly concerning and puts him at high risk of contracting Covid-19 in view of the overcrowding and poor prison conditions in Azerbaijan.

The Observatory recalls that on March 30, 2020, the police arrested Mr. Elchin Mammad at his home in the city of Sumgait, a few days after he had published online a critical report on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. The police claimed to have found stolen jewellery worth 7,500 manats (around 4,070 Euros) and ammunition at his office. The Sumgait City Court remanded Mr. Elchin Mammad in custody on charges of “theft causing significant damage” and “illegal purchase and possession of firearm accessories”. On October 14, 2020, the Sumgait City Court sentenced Mr. Elchin Mammad to four years in prison.

The Observatory further recalls that the circumstances in which the verdict was handed down suggest that Mr. Elchin Mammad did not benefit from a fair trial. The evidence heard at the trial was inconsistent and should not have led to Mr. Mammad’s conviction, while the investigation phase also appeared to have been marred by police tampering of evidence. Yet, on February 19, 2021, the Sumgayit Court of Appeal upheld the four-year prison sentence of Elchin Mammad and concluded that his right to a fair trial was respected during the judicial proceedings in his case. Mr. Mammad’s lawyer appealed the decision before the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan. His appeal hearing will take place on July 7, 2021.

[…]

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/azerbaijan-deteriorating-health-and-ongoing-arbitrary-detention-of

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2021/6/free/Social/en/4963.htm

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur55/3340/2020/en/

Azerbaijan/Armenia/The Netherlands: Three Azerbaijanis stab Armenian lawyer in Netherlands

08/05/21

Image

Armenian lawyer Anna Hakobyan was stabbed Friday in the Netherlands by three Azerbaijanis. Vahe Balbabyan wrote about this on Facebook.


“She is currently undergoing surgery at the hospital. Her condition is not clear yet. The dogs [i.e., the aforesaid Azerbaijanis] were arrested on the spot,” Balbabyan added.


Later he added: “One of our friends talked to Anna, the surgery was completed successfully, Anna is still weak, but I am sure everything will be fine. God be with you, dear Anna.”

https://news.am/eng/news/642744.html

https://armenpress.am/eng/news/1051711/

Azerbaijan: The advocacy of Shahla Humbatova and Irada Javadova has been restored

05/05/21

İradə Cavadova, Şəhla Hümbətova və Türkel Süleymanlı

The Presidium of the Bar Association withdrew the claim against Shahla Humbatova. She was reinstated as a member of the Bar Association, Humbatova told Turan. On May 5, a meeting of the Azerbaijani Bar Association was held, she told. “My question was also discussed at the meeting. It was decided to withdraw the claim against me. I was told that from tomorrow I can start work,” said Humbatova. She noted that she appealed against the decision of the Baku Administrative Court to expel her from the collegium.  Consideration of her appeal was scheduled for June 2. “However, without waiting for the consideration of the appeal, the panel withdrew its claim. I was expelled from the collegium by political order, and I was reinstated by the instructions from the same center,” Humbatova said.

The Bar Association in an official statement confirmed the restoration of the powers of Humbatova, as well as two other lawyers Irada Javadova and Turkel Suleimanli. 

Humbatova and Javadova are lawyers specializing in the human rights field.  In 2020, Humbatova was awarded the International Prize of the US State Department “Courageous Women”. 

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2021/5/free/Social/en/3808.htm

https://www.ibanet.org/Article/NewDetail.aspx?ArticleUid=97af6ad6-3505-4d1f-8369-669bcd5f3ba5

https://www.rferl.org/a/call-for-reversal-of-top-azerbaijani-human-rights-lawyer-s-disbarment-united-states/31171382.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahla_Humbatova

https://www.meydan.tv/az/article/sehla-humbetova-ve-bir-nece-vekil-kollegiyaya-berpa-olundu/?ref=homepage-headline (Azərbaycan dili)

https://www.amerikaninsesi.org/a/%C5%9F%C9%99hla-h%C3%BCmb%C9%99tova-v%C9%99kill%C9%99r-kollegiyas%C4%B1ndan-nec%C9%99-sifari%C5%9Fl%C9%99-%C3%A7%C4%B1xar%C4%B1lm%C4%B1%C5%9Fd%C4%B1msa-eyni-qaydada-da-b%C9%99rpa-olundum/5879226.html

https://apa.az/az/hadise/Irad-Cavadova-Shla-Humbtova-v-Turkel-Suleymanlinin-vkillik-faliyyti-brpa-olunub-641734

https://www.azadliq.org/a/31239579.html

https://arqument.az/az/sehla-humbetova-ve-bir-nece-vekil-kollegiyaya-berpa-olundu/

https://az.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9E%C9%99hla_H%C3%BCmb%C9%99tova

Azerbaijan: U.S. Calls For Reversal Of Top Azerbaijani Human Rights Lawyer’s Disbarment

26/03/21

Shahla Humbatova receives the International Women of Courage Award at the State Department in Washington on March 4, 2020.

The United States is calling for Azerbaijani human rights lawyer Shahla Humbatova to be reinstated into the country’s bar association after she lost her membership earlier this month in what she claimed was a politically motivated act.

Humbatova’s “work, and the work of other human rights defenders in Azerbaijan, should be celebrated, not punished, and we call on those responsible to expedite her reinstatement to the Azerbaijani bar,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a March 26 statement.

The prominent lawyer was disbarred on March 5 for failing to pay membership fees of $260 to the Azerbaijani Bar Association.

The lawyer said at the time that the board did not inform her about the debt and she found about her disbarment from the media. She then paid her membership fee immediately.

Humbatova is one of several human rights lawyers to have been disbarred in recent years, leaving few advocates to take on cases in a country renown for cracking down on the media and critical voices.

“We encourage all steps toward systemic reforms in Azerbaijan, especially those regarding the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms — areas that will benefit the Azerbaijani people and create opportunities to deepen our cooperation,” Blinken said in the statement.

Last year, the United States honored Humbatova with the secretary of state’s International Women of Courage Award.

Earlier this month, Freedom House published its 2021 report on global democracy, saying Azerbaijan’s judiciary “is corrupt and subservient to the executive.”

“Although nominally independent, the Azerbaijani Bar Association acts on the orders of the Ministry of Justice and is complicit in the harassment of human rights lawyers,” the report said.

https://www.rferl.org/a/call-for-reversal-of-top-azerbaijani-human-rights-lawyer-s-disbarment-united-states/31171382.html

https://www.ibanet.org/Article/NewDetail.aspx?ArticleUid=97af6ad6-3505-4d1f-8369-669bcd5f3ba5

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahla_Humbatova